A trade that sends Randy Moss from the New England Patriots back to the Minnesota Vikings is complete, a league source told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi.
The Patriots will receive a 2011 third-round draft pick in exchange for the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, who started his NFL career with the Vikings in 1998. Had New England allowed Moss to leave in free agency next offseason, it would have received a third-round selection in the 2012 draft as compensation.
Moss, who's in the final year of his current contract, is scheduled to make $6.4 million in base salary this season. He wants a new deal, but he wouldn't receive one from the Vikings as part of the trade, Lombardi reported.
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, who also appears on NFL Network, first reported the trade discussions Tuesday.
"I don't know anything about it," Vikings coach Brad Childress said, according to Comcast SportsNet New England. "I'm watching film. I'm just sitting here watching the Jets and Patriots play."
Patriots coaches and players won't be available for comment until Thursday because the team is in its bye-week schedule.
Moss lashed out after the Patriots' season-opening 38-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 12, saying he felt unappreciated in New England because he hadn't received a long-term contract. Moss also said waiting until after the season to do a deal would be "a smack in my face."
"This is the last year of my contract. Nothing has been discussed. There's not been anything said. Not a letter. Nothing," Moss said last month. "I'm not saying that I want to stay here, but I love playing here. If the future of my job lets me go to another team, then that's what it's going to be. But for right now, I'm still in a contract for the New England Patriots, and I have a job to do.
"I don't want to talk about contracts. I just want to let you all know that I'm here to play my last season out. If an opportunity later on in the season presents itself for me to be a New England Patriot, I will accept that. But if it doesn't, I must move on."
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A source told the Boston Herald on Tuesday that Moss requested a trade from the Patriots after that Week 1 meltdown.
The news of a possible Moss trade came one day after the Patriots defeated their AFC East rival Miami Dolphins 41-14. Moss had his first reception-less game as a Patriot, and Tom Brady threw to him only once -- a drop by Moss at the goal line.
"The passing game (Monday) night is the same way the passing game has been for the last 10 years," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday, before the trade-talk news broke. "You call a pass pattern, you have multiple receivers running various routes and, based on the coverage and the matchups, the quarterback decides where the best opportunity, leverage, space on the pattern is, and that's who he throws to.
"That's the way it always is. That'll never really change."
What could change is the uniform that Moss wears, although he knows it well.
A first-round draft pick out of Marshall, Moss played in Minnesota from 1998 to 2004 and posted six 1,000-yard seasons. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders and had two mediocre seasons before being dealt to New England, where he enjoyed a resurgence. He caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes in 2007, his first season with the Patriots, and hasn't had fewer than 1,000 receiving yards in a full season with the team.
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The Vikings sure could use Moss now. The team has sought receiver help since the preseason after losing Sidney Rice for at least six weeks because of a hip injury. Percy Harvin, who has battled migraine headaches all season, leads Minnesota wideouts with 12 catches for 106 yards and one touchdown. Greg Lewis and Bernard Berrian are next with five receptions each.
The Vikings had discussions with the San Diego Chargers about acquiring disgruntled Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson earlier this season, but the sides couldn't agree on compensation to complete a trade.
Without the deep threat he had in Rice, quarterback Brett Favre's production has dramatically dropped. The Vikings have lost two of their first three games, and their receiving group lacks the prototypical big-play receiver who can out-jump smaller cornerbacks for passes down the field.
That's Moss in a nutshell.
Moss immediately energized a lagging Vikings franchise after he was drafted 21st overall in 1998. He averaged 19.0 yards per catch and hauled in 17 TD passes as a rookie to help the team reach the NFC Championship Game. His first season coincided with a string of sellouts that remains going to this day, and Vikings fans still wear Moss' No. 84 jersey to the Metrodome, six years after he left.
The addition of Moss will no doubt delight Favre, who will turn 41 later this month. Favre has twice campaigned for the Packers to acquire Moss, including once toward the end of his time in Green Bay. But the Patriots ultimately ended up parting with just a fourth-round pick to pry Moss away from the Raiders, and Favre privately fumed at the swing-and-miss by the Packers' front office.
Favre was traded to the New York Jets one year later, and he signed a two-year deal with the Vikings last season.
Now Moss will match up against Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis on Monday night at New Meadowlands Stadium. Revis sustained a hamstring injury while covering Moss on a long touchdown pass in Week 2 and is scheduled to return this week.
But that wouldn't even be the marquee matchup on Moss' Minnesota itinerary: The Vikings are scheduled to visit the Patriots on Oct. 31.
all they want to do is let favre chuck it up in the air for moss because they know Bret will be on his back most of the game if not the sideline watching.
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Moss Confirmed To Vikes By Way Of Telepathy because no one was talking its a miracle.
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